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Since 2014, UN Women’s Markets for Change project has been boosting leadership and financial skills of women vendors in 17 markets to make them safe, inclusive and sustainable. For the first time, women’s voices are shaping market infrastructure and climate adaptation.
On 13 March, 2015 Vanuatu was hit by Category Five Cyclone Pam, the worst disaster in the island nation’s recent history. More than half the population (of more than 860,000) was affected and around 96 per cent of crops were destroyed, leaving many women without food or produce to sell, which was their only source of income. In the months following the cyclone, a prolonged El Niño-fueled drought prevented replanting, causing months of crop failure, food insecurity and the decimation of the livelihoods of market vendors, majority women.